Waiting for a Promise

Waiting for A Promise

And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” (Acts 1:4-5)

Right before He ascended to heaven, Jesus gave His disciples important instructions. First, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem. At this moment, Jesus had nothing else for the disciples to do other than to wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit (here called the Promise of the Father). Jesus knew that they really could do nothing effective for the Kingdom of God until the Spirit came upon them.

Waiting for a Promise

Jesus commanded them to wait.

To wait means the Father’s promise of the Holy Spirit was worth waiting for.
To wait means that had a promise the Holy Spirit would come.
To wait means they must receive the Spirit; they couldn’t create an experience themselves.
To wait means they would be tested by waiting, at least a little.

It is significant that this coming, filling, and empowering of the Holy Spirit was called the Promise of the Father. Even though there is a sense in which this was now also the promise of the Son of God, there is meaning in the phrase, the Promise of the Father.

– It shows that we should wait for it with eager anticipation, because a Promise of the Father who loves us so much can only be good.
– It shows that it is reliable and can be counted on; a loving and powerful Father would never Promise something that He could not fulfill.
– It shows that this Promise belongs to all His children, since it comes from God as our Father.
– It shows that it must be received by faith, as is the pattern with the promises of God throughout the Bible.

Jesus explained more about this Promise when He added, you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit. The idea of being baptized is to be immersed in or covered over in something; even as John baptized people in water, so these disciples would be “immersed” in the Holy Spirit.

When would it happen? As Jesus said this right before He ascended to heaven, He added: Not many days from now. They knew that this Promise of the Father would come, but not immediately. It would be days from now, but it would not be not many days.

Jesus had a purpose in not telling them exactly when it would come. One purpose was so the disciples would learn to wait in expectant faith. Even so, we should resist “creating” a move of the Spirit. Instead, we trust the Promise of the Father and have expectant faith regarding the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in our life. The real move of the Holy Spirit is worth it.

Click here for David’s commentary on Acts 1

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